People of Color Caucus at the November Vigil to Close the SOA Print
on Saturday, November 19, 2005
from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Locations: Convention Center
(801 Front Avenue, Columbus, GA)

In our work to close the School of the Americas (SOA) and to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy, SOA Watch is recognizing the SOA as part of a tradition and system of white supremacy. The purpose of the School is to maintain U.S. hegemony over the Western Hemisphere. It is also a tool to maintain white supremacy over the non-white populations of this hemisphere. Working for justice for the people of the Americas in a principled way means that we have to address white supremacy as one of the root causes of oppression.
We also have to acknowledge the connection between the forms and institutions of racial and cultural supremacy embedded in U.S. foreign policy and society and the practice of racial and cultural supremacy in the movement to close the School of the Americas. An important purpose of the People of Color Caucus is to explore how racism plays out within the movement. This may include blatant forms like racist language, or more subtle forms, such as meeting dynamics, leadership, representation, etc. Ultimately, though, it's the responsibility of the caucus to set its own agenda and to decide on structure and scope. Participants could also decide to talk about projects that they would like to undertake. They may produce information to make available to other members of the SOA Watch community.

People of Color Caucus

The first People of Color Caucus at the SOA Watch November Vigil formed following an open forum discussion on Anti-Oppression issues, organized by the Anti-Oppression and Accessibility Working Group during the November 2003 vigil in Columbus, GA.

In 2004 the Chicana activist and author Betita Martinez and Darren Parker, a public intellectual, musician, and activist from Philadelphia, facilitated the People of Color Caucus on Saturday evening until almost midnight. Some 40 people of color came together. Topics that were discussed included internalized racism, identity issues, coalition building, translation at events, better outreach to communities of color about SOA Watch events, collaboration with people of color lead groups to close the SOA, in North America as well as in Latin America.

For more information read also:
Combating Oppression Inside and Outside by Elizabeth 'Betita' Martinez, An Evaluation by Darren Parker, and check out the compilation of articles on white supremacy and race


This years' People of Color Caucus is going to be organized and facilitated by trainers of the Fellowship of Reconcilliation's Nonviolent Youth Collective of the. Membership in the Caucus is self-defined. No one should feel the need to prove their identity; however, it is important that everyone respects the right of people of color to create their own safe space to talk about issues with people who share the same experiences. As difficult as it may seem, this means that if you are white, you should not join the People of Color Caucus even if you believe in color-blindness and celebrating diversity.
All information shared in a Caucus meeting is private, unless its members agree to share it with the larger SOA Watch community.



Click here to download the bilingual People of Color Caucus Flier

Para más información contacte a (For more information contact) Carmen, crivera(at)soaw.org